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Facebook enters Healthcare with Preventive Health tool in USA

Use the tool to find affordable places to receive care

Oct 31,2019 – Facebook, the social media giant is developing products and partnerships that can help people connect with resources to support their health. The company said in an official post that it is working with US health organizations to offer a Preventive Health tool that connects people to health resources and checkup reminders. People can use the tool to find affordable places to receive care, set reminders to schedule tests, mark when tests are completed, and more.

Preventive measures have the potential to detect disease early when it’s most treatable and, in some cases, prevent it from developing. Yet factors such as awareness, access and cost create barriers to testing for many people.

“To help, we’re working with US health organizations to offer a new Preventive Health tool that connects people to health resources and checkup reminders. Our initial focus is on the top two leading causes of death in the US: heart disease and cancer, (according to CDC) as well as the flu, a seasonal illness that affects millions each year,” the company said.

The resources available in the tool are provided by the American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — organizations recognized for their education and expertise in these areas.

This is how the tool works

In the US, people can search for Preventive Health in the Facebook mobile app and find out which checkups, such as cholesterol tests or mammograms, are recommended by these health organizations based on the age and sex they provide. Reminders for flu shots will also appear at the appropriate time of year.

The tool allows people to mark when tests are completed, set reminders to schedule future tests and tell loved ones about the tool to increase awareness of preventive care. People can also learn more about each checkup and find affordable places to receive care.

Most of the preventive measures recommended by the health organizations we’re working with, such as blood pressure tests, are free of charge with insurance coverage, but we know many people do not have insurance the company said. To help people get affordable care, Preventive Health offers a way to find Federally Qualified Health Centers near them. These centers are located in underserved areas and provide care to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

Over time, we’ll work with additional organizations to include more resources and expand to other countries, the company said.

Privacy Matters

Health is particularly personal, so we took privacy and safety into account from the beginning Facebook said. For example, Preventive Health allows you to set reminders for your future checkups and mark them as done, but it doesn’t provide us, or the health organizations we’re working with, access to your actual test results. Personal information about your activity in Preventive Health is not shared with third parties, such as health organizations or insurance companies, so it can’t be used for purposes like insurance eligibility.

We don’t show ads based on the information you provide in Preventive Health — that includes things like setting a reminder for a test, marking it as done or searching for a healthcare location. As always, other actions that you take on Facebook could inform the ads you see, for example, liking the Facebook page of a health organization or visiting an external website linked to from Preventive Health.

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